Growing up, I thought the perfect host was a combination of Betty Crocker and Donna Reed: perfect clothes, perfect hair, perfect food, and perfect personality all coming together to ensure her guests are well taken care of.
However, Steve Martin, a Republican State Senator from Virginia, has a different take on the what it means to be a good host. He recently received a Valentine’s Day Card from the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition asking the state Senator to protect women’s reproductive health options — everything from raising healthy children to having access to safe, legal abortion. Martin took it upon himself to reply publicly via his Facebook page. His response originally included the following:
“…I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it to remain alive.” Keep reading »
It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was on my therapist’s couch. I described for her an incident over the weekend when I felt sad, deeply sad, for seemingly no reason at all. I had felt reclusive and shy and wanted to stay in my bed; when my husband encouraged me to go to a birthday party that night that I actually wanted to go to, I had started crying. I’m a sensitive person, sure, but even while I was crying I knew my tears didn’t make much sense.
I shared some other strange behavior changes lately. I’ve been more hungry than usual, more often and ravenously so. I get snappish when I can’t eat immediately (hangry, I believe, is the technical term). I’m usually pretty easygoing, but lately I’d been having random mood swings. I was beginning to feel embarrassed about my behavior.
“You’re emotional … your appetite has changed …,” she paused. “Have you considered that you might be pregnant?” Keep reading »
You can count on me to never get in the way of you “preventing an unintentional pregnancy.” I’m not actually sure what that means, because if it’s “unintentional” you must have been trying to prevent it. And, I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.
This is what Virginia state senator Steve Martin (a jerk, but not the star of “The Jerk,” just so we’re clear) had to say in a recent Facebook post, apparently prompted by him receiving some unsolicited mail from a pro-choice group. Uh, while it’s cool and all that Martin doesn’t “expect” to do anything to prevent women’s access to contraceptives — unlike many politicians these days, unfortunately — referring to pregnant women as “hosts,” as if we’re aliens or a bad book written by Twilight‘s Stephenie Meyers, is pretty disturbing. Unfortunately, I think Martin is saying what most anti-choice politicians and activists actually think about women who find themselves pregnant — as mere incubators for the fetus growing inside them, their own lives suddenly meaningless. [Slate]
“She wanted to go get an abortion. … Then I turned to her and I just said, ‘We don’t believe in that. That’s a real person inside of you and we don’t believe in killing. That’s not going to happen.’”
There are all kinds of examples of why some of the parents on “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” are awful people. But if Farrah Abraham had the abortion she apparently wanted to have, as her mother Debra Danielson revealed on “Couples Therapy”? That wouldn’t have been one of those reasons. A pregnant 16-year-old Farrah apparently wanted to terminate a surprise pregnancy and her mother told her “That’s not going to happen.” While it isn’t clear whether Danielson physically prevented her daughter from getting an abortion — Iowa state law stipulates that a parent or guardian must be notified 48 hours before an abortion — it’s obvious that Farrah’s mother exerted pressure in other ways that took the decision out of Farrah’s hands. She didn’t have much of a choice in parenthood. As Jezebel blogger Tracie Egan Morrissey writes about this “Couples Therapy” clip, you actually feel really sympathetic towards Farrah. In all honesty, I find Farrah’s mom truly scary for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is because Danielson doesn’t believe in “killing” a fetus but is A-OK with hitting her daughter in the presence of her infant grandchild. [Jezebel]
Only a few weeks ago, a Texas husband successfully sued a hospital to remove his brain dead wife, Marlise Munoz, from “life support,” something they had refused to do because she was pregnant. The Fort Worth hospital believed they were following a state law which instructed them not to stop “life-sustaining treatment” for a patient who is pregnant, despite the woman’s own wishes. A judge eventually concluded that a dead person is not a patient.
A few thousand miles to the north, another family is in the exact same situation. But Dylan Benson, 32, of British Columbia is choosing to keep his brain dead pregnant wife Robyn Benson hooked up to life support until the fetus can be delivered via C-section. Keep reading »
“Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount … I don’t know how you do all that because then it’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money. But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer.”
Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky is making it his personal mission to shame moms on welfare for continuing to get pregnant. Sen. Paul, who has a decent shot at the 2016 Republican nomination, wants to put a cap on the government benefits for which low-income mothers are eligible. His aim is to dis-incentivize mothers by economically punishing them for having a number of children that is over his ambiguous personal threshold of what he considers to be “too many.” Basically, he’s fairly certain that the way to save the United States’ future is for women to keep their legs closed. (Oh, you didn’t think he supported reproductive rights, did you? HAHAHAHA. Rand opposes abortion unilaterally, even in the cases of incest or rape.) Keep reading »
A shameful, sad and gruesome chapter in Texas’ history is finally over: a judge ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove Marlise Munoz from life support.
Munoz, who was pregnant with her second child, has been brain dead since November, when she apparently suffered a pulmonary embolism. Despite the 32-year-old’s own wish (supported by her husband) not to be kept on a ventilator, John Peter Smith Hospital refused to remove her because of the fetus inside her. The hospital feared running afoul of a 1999 Texas law which states “life-sustaining treatment” cannot be removed from a pregnant woman, despite the woman’s own wishes. Keep reading »
Yesterday, the family of Marlise Munoz filed an emergency motion against the Texas hospital asking them to take her off life support so they can bury her body. Thirty-three-year-old Marlise, who apparently suffered a pulmonary embolism in November, did not want to be kept alive on machines. Her wishes, and those of her husband and parents, are not being respected, though. The Forth Worth hospital where she is being kept believes it is following a state law by keeping her body functioning in order to keep her now 22-week-old fetus alive. Keep reading »